We are excited to introduce the following as our main session speakers for Renovate AL / GA 2018. Without doubt we have coming to Columbus nationally known men who desire to invest in other pastors and make sure we are all equipped to RenovateMyChurch AL/GA. Join me in prayer as we prepare our hearts for an exciting three days of conferencing, learning, and fellowship.
Thom S. Rainer
President & CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources
He has also served at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for twelve years where he was the founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism. He is a 1977 graduate of the University of Alabama and earned his Master of Divinity and Ph.D. degrees from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
In addition to speaking in hundreds of venues over the past 20 years, Rainer led Rainer Group, a church and denominational consulting firm, from 1990 to 2005. The firm provided church health insights to over 500 churches and other organizations over that period.
Rainer and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons: Sam, Art and Jess, who are married to Erin, Sarah and Rachel respectively. The Rainers have ten grandchildren: Canon, Maggie, Nathaniel, Will (with the Lord), Harper, Bren, Joshua, Collins, Joel, and James.
He is the author of more than two dozen books, including Breakout Churches, Autopsy of a Deceased Church, Simple Life, Simple Church, Raising Dad, The Millennials, and Essential Church. His recent book, I Am a Church Member, was #1 on the CBA best-seller list for several months and Who Moved My Pulpit? was just released in June 2016 by B&H Publishing Group.
H.B. Charles, Jr.
Pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida
H.B. Charles, Jr. was born on February 11, 1973 in Los Angeles, California to Dr. H.B. and Ellen L. Charles, Sr. He made a personal profession of faith in Christ as Savior and Lord, and was baptized, at the age of six. At the age of eleven, H.B. began his public ministry at the Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, under the watchful eyes of his father and the other pastoral leaders of the congregation.
After his father’s death in June of 1989, the Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church selected H.B. to succeed his father. At the time, H.B. was a seventeen-year-old senior at Los Angeles High School. Over the course of H.B.’s pastorate, his love for God’s Word, the church, and lost people have been obvious to both the membership of MSMBC and the larger church community. This resulted in H.B. balancing his pastoral responsibilities with speaking engagements in revivals, conferences, and other church events around the Greater Los Angeles area and across the country.
On July 30, 2008, Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida, ended a seven month search for a pastor when the church unanimously called H.B. as pastor. H.B. prayerfully accepted God’s call to be the next shepherd to lead Shiloh.
Dr. Tom Cheyney
Founder of RENOVATE National Church Revitalization Conference
RENOVATE Directional Leader
Tom Cheyney is the Founder of RENOVATE National Church Revitalization Conference and RENOVATE’s Directional Leader of RenovateConference.org. He is the co-author of SPIN-OFF Churches (B&H Publishing Group), The Biblical Foundation for Church Revitalization and Renewal (Renovate Publishing Group), Preaching Towards Church Revitalization and Renewal (Renovate Publishing Group), and The New Unchurched and Strategies to Reach Them (Renovate Publishing Group)! Dr. Cheyney lives in Orlando, Florida where he leads his own Church Revitalization Assistance Team to aid churches regionally and globally.
Senior Pastor, Brainerd Baptist Church, Chattanooga, TN
He has served as the Vice President of LifeWay Research, a Senior Pastor in Missouri and an international church planter in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Micah and his wife Tracy have been married for 17 years, have two daughters, and recently adopted a son from the Kingdom of Lesotho in Africa.
He is also currently a student in the Ph.D. program at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC studying North American Missiology. He has plans to write a dissertation around the topic of immigration and Islam. He states, “Not long ago, a good friend of mine encouraged me to stop reading the books I was reading and instead read a Quran to understand what Muslims believed and befriend a Muslim. That began, for me, a new experience of learning to love Muslims.”
Dr. John Ed Mathison
Retired Senior Pastor of Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, AL
John retired in June 2008, after 36 years as senior minister of Frazer Memorial. He also served as associate minister at Capitol Heights Methodist Church in Montgomery 1964-1966, as minister at South Brookley Methodist Church in Mobile 1966-1970, and as minister at Trinity United Methodist Church in Phenix City 1970-1972.
In July 2008, Dr. Mathison and a board of directors established the John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries which involves preaching, teaching, conferences and seminars. The purpose of the ministry is to train pastors and lay persons to be leaders impacting the world for Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. The ministry website, www.johnedmathison.org gives a full description of this ministry.
Under his leadership, Frazer grew from 400 members to more than 8,800 and had the largest Sunday School attendance for United Methodist churches in America. In 1986 the Church Leadership Institute cited Frazer as the fastest growing church of any denomination in Alabama. In 1999, the church was given the National Church of the Year Award from Neighbors Who Care, the victim assistance arm of Prison Fellowship founded by Chuck Colson. Most recently, in 2006, The Church Reporter magazine recognized Frazer as the 25th most influential church in America.
At Dr. Mathison’s retirement Frazer had eight Sunday morning worship services at the Atlanta Highway campus – three traditional, three contemporary, one Hispanic and one Chinese. The worship services of Frazer were televised nationwide each week with INSP network, reaching about 40 million homes. The worship services were also cybercast live and carried on local radio and television.
Dr. Bill Purvis
Pastor of Cascade Hills in Columbus, GA
Pastor Bill grew up in Eufaula, Alabama. His story is one that is evidence of God’s grace and ability to change lives. Two weeks prior to his spiritual conversion, a young witness nervously knocked on his door. He quickly spoke these words to Bill.
“Everything you are looking for can be found in Jesus.”
On April 28, 1974, Bill was stabbed three times with a butcher knife and left for dead. It was in his dying state that Bill remembered the awkward exchange and those words. Right then and there at a light pole in the parking lot of a run-down theater, he repented of his sins and cried out to God, receiving Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. That became the turning point of his life. His transformation resulted in an undeniable love for God and an urgency to tell others about Jesus.
Later he would be certain of a “call” to ministry and he’d go on to graduate from Luther Rice Seminary earning Master of Arts, Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees in time.
With only one child and almost 10 years after his salvation, Bill and Debbie were called to lead Cascade Hills Church of Columbus, Georgia on Easter Sunday April, 1983. There were 32 people present that day. With over 10,000 in our 2015 Easter service hearing the Gospel, people being baptized daily, we know how blessed we are and where our blessings come from.
Today, the very light pole that Bill clung to as he cried out to God serves as the centerpiece of a Prayer Garden at Cascade Hills Church. The inscription on the base of the pole reads: “Under this light on April 28, 1974 our Pastor cried out to God in desperation for a miracle that saved his soul & life. Perhaps your prayers to God in desperation today will be answered with the miracle you need.”
Bill and his wife Debbie were married over 35 years ago, on July 1, 1980. They have 3 incredible sons, BJ, Brent and Blake, each married to beautiful wives with amazing gifts, along with 6 awesome grandchildren.
You can follow Bill on Twitter @Bill_Purvis or Instagram @BillPurvis.
For speaking inquiries, please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Steve Smith
Founder, Church Equippers Ministries
Dr. Steve Smith is founder of ChurchEquippers Ministries, a nonprofit organization training pastors, leaders, and churches in spiritual transformation and increasing church capacity. He has been involved in strategic church planting movements for 30 years. He is a strategic thinker, a relational networker, a mentor and coach to pastors and young leaders. Steve is the author of several books including The Key to Deep Change and The Increasing Capacity Guidebook. Born in Virginia, Steve has been married for 40 years to his wife, Shirley, they have 4 children and 4 grandchildren. Their home base is in central Florida.
Lead pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, a healthy small church in Orange County, California for 25 years
Karl Vaters is also the author of two books about small churches. The Grasshopper Myth: Big Churches, Small Churches and the Small Thinking That Divides Us, and the upcoming Small Church Essentials (releasing in March, 2018). On his blog Pivot, he writes about Innovative Leadership from a Small Church Perspective for ChristianityToday.com several times a week. He’s also the founder of NewSmallChurch.com, a ministry that encourages, connects and equips innovative Small Church pastors.
Karl’s heart is to help pastors of Small Churches (about 90% of churches) find the resources to pastor their current church well, and to capitalize on the unique advantages that come with pastoring a Small Church – something virtually every pastor will spend at least some of their ministry years doing. He also believes that big and small churches can and should work together more often – to the benefit of each.
Rev. Larry Wynn
Senior Pastor of Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula, GA
When he accepted the pastorate of Hebron in 1978, the church was averaging 100 in Sunday School. Today the church has 3,500 in attendance each week and more than 7,000 people have been baptized throughout the years of Brother Larry’s ministry there.
In 2011, Larry resigned at Hebron Baptist Church to become Vice President for Evangelism for the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Larry has been President of the Georgia Baptist Convention, Vice-President of the SBC Pastor’s Conference, Sunday School Board Trustee, and held many offices and places of responsibility within the Georgia Baptist Convention, the Southern Baptist Convention and numerous positions in community affairs.
Rev. Wynn is in great demand as a speaker. He has spoken at the Georgia Baptist Convention, the Georgia Baptist Convention Evangelism Conference, the Southern Baptist Convention Pastor’s Conference and in many conferences, churches and events across America.
He was educated at Abraham Baldwin College, Mercer University, New Orleans Theological Seminary and Luther Rice Seminary. He is married to his wife, Ethel and they have three children.